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House Armed Services Committee Proposes $740.5B NDAA to Establish National Cloud for AI Research Integrated Into FY 2021 NDAA

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The House Armed Services Committee has proposed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021, which has included a bill that would create a national cloud infrastructure for artificial intelligence research, Nextgov reported Thursday.

The House panel unanimously approved the potential $740.5 billion NDAA during a markup Wednesday.

The proposed National AI Research Resource Task Force Act would direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy and National Science Foundation to create a task force of tech experts from industry, academia and government to come up with a “coordinated roadmap and implementation plan” for establishing and sustaining a research resource focused on AI.

“For the U.S. to maintain its global leadership in AI, researchers must be enabled to access high-power computing, large datasets, and educational resources that are required for AI research and development,” Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) told the publication Tuesday. “This effort is critical for our economy and national security.”

The bill has received support from 21 universities and tech companies, including Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Microsoft and NVIDIA.

Eshoo partnered with Reps. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) introduced the measure in the lower chamber. A Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

Denning co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and Provost Emeritus at Stanford University, John Etchemendy, added that “a national research cloud will give academic researchers the tools needed to advance artificial intelligence far into the future,” and “will also elevate the ability of all colleges and universities to provide the research and teaching needed to maintain our competitiveness in AI.”